It’s been a while since I’ve written for The Muse Within, but I am back with something worth paying attention to.
This one isn’t about environmental history, it is very much about the present and the future. I just finished watching a movie (more of a documentary) called “Racing Extinction” and I still have tears in my eyes as I write this post. It is a documentary about how our activities are causing probably the greatest extinction of life in Earth’s history.
For a while now, scientists have been professing a switch to a vegetarian diet to counter the impacts of climate change. On March 26, 2016, there was an article on TIME magazine as well, about this. According to that article, livestock contributes more than 14% of greenhouse emission, and this figure could grow to 50% by 2050, with growing population and the need for more food.
Human beings, like every other living organism, has a relationship with its surrounding environment. This relationship began the moment our species evolved and has been a dynamic relationship ever since. We have interacted with the environment in several ways spread over centuries, and it is important to understand this relationship before we understand the situation today (isn’t that why we study history anyway?).
Human beings are extraordinary creatures. I say this because, in the 4.5 billion-year-old history of the Earth, no other living organism has come close to what we have been able to achieve as a species. Now, I’m not talking about going into space or creating artificial intelligence; although these are as staggering an achievement as any. As a species, we have done some pretty amazing things at the ecological level as well.